2012 Rockledge Vineyards Pinot Noir Terres Blanches Carneros
 
We're sorry, this offer is sold out.
Read about wines still available for purchase »


The Vineyards of Carneros Packed to the Gills in Carneros

When we first tasted the 2012 Pinot Noirs out of the barrel, from Carneros to Sonoma Coast, it was clear that this is the juiciest, most voluptuous vintage of the new millennium. But it wouldn't be until we read about the size of the harvest that our ears really perked up. When they added it all up, the 2012 vintage was the second largest in 50 years -- quickly replenishing winery inventories that had been getting shallow.

Two months ago, we were back in the valley. Chuck Wagner at Caymus had boldly called 2012 "a watershed vintage." Our winemaker friends at Phelps, Chappellet, Vineyard 7 & 8 and Saintsbury were singing a similar tune. But, as we cellar-hopped up and down the Silverado, we saw a second storyline playing out. Again, in 2013, yields were high. If the weather held out, harvest would come early. If so, we reasoned, wineries already packed to the gills with 2012s would have to scramble to find room for their 2013s.

Ten days ago, we received an email that perfectly illustrated what we'd suspected back in July. The Chardonnay and Pinot Noir harvests were in full swing, and incredibly, much of the valley's Cabernet would come in before October 1st! Quality was excellent, but just as importantly for bargain hunters, yields were sky high.

Both Bin2Bottle and Laird, two of the largest custom crush facilities, were filling up quickly. Tank space was suddenly a precious commodity. But it wouldn't be until we received that email reporting that 10-year-old barrels (typically all but worthless!!) were selling for upwards of $125 that with checkbooks in hand, we booked flights for San Francisco.

Since Monday, we've been hitting four to five cellars per day. It's difficult to sufficiently emphasize both the qualitative and quantitative magnitude of the 2012 harvest. In Carneros, the top wines from Saintsbury, Donum Estate, Rockledge and Etude are darkest ruby in color. Alcohol is unusually high -- over 14% -- but not once did we feel the heat. Rich, ripe and bold with tremendous breadth, these are some of the most voluptuous Pinots ever to come out of that cool climate appellation.

But, while every winery we visited showcased superb 2012s, most were complaining. Where were they supposed to put their 2013s?

We can't say how many offers we're likely to find like today's. Depending upon the winery and the depth of its pockets, some may figure out how to hold on to all of their 2012s and 2013s. But many will be obliged to do what Rockledge is doing today with this phenomenal 2012 "Terres Blanches" -- trading a few hundred cases for a quick cash infusion.

The 2012 Rockledge Pinot Noir "Terres Blanches" is drawn from two of Carneros' most renowned vineyards. Harvested in the third week of September under perfect conditions, despite yields that flirted with 4 tons per acre, natural concentration was extraordinary as acids remained fresh and firm.

Deepest ruby to the rim. Aromas of black raspberry, cherry, white pepper and sweet spice; the attack is both dense and sumptuous. Rich, juicy and velour-like on the mid-palate with pungent flavors of crushed red fruit preserves. Despite coming in at 14.5% alcohol, the most lavish Pinot Noir ever to come out of Rockledge remains fresh and persistent, braced by textbook Carneros vibrancy. Drink now for its primary fruit hedonism or lay down for 5-7 years.



Tasting Notes

2012 Rockledge Vineyards Pinot Noir Terres Blanches Carneros
"Deepest ruby to the rim. Aromas of black raspberry, cherry, white pepper and sweet spice; the attack is both dense and sumptuous. Rich, juicy and velour-like on the mid-palate with pungent flavors of crushed red fruit preserves. Despite coming in at 14.5% alcohol, the most lavish Pinot Noir ever to come out of Rockledge remains fresh and persistent, braced by textbook Carneros vibrancy. Drink now for its primary fruit hedonism or lay down for 5-7 years."
-- WineAccess Travel Log

 

By law, wine may ONLY be shipped to the following states: AZ, CA, CO, CT, DC, FL, GA, IA, ID, IL, KS, LA, ME, MI, MN, MO, NC, NE, NH, NM, NV, OH, OR, PA, SC, TN, VA, VT, WA, WI, WV, WY.